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Morning Calendar for Interactive Whiteboard, FREEBIE!

Easing into Easiteach

Last year was my first full school year using my Epson Brightlink Interactive Projector in my 1st Grade Classroom.  I spent the year making lessons in TeamBoard Draw (word building and ten-frames for example) and using Easy Interactive tools to annotate over top old transparencies. I also found interactive websites for the kids to use, and who doesn’t enjoy streaming from Discovery Education.  I also self-taught myself the software program ActivInspire, and created several lessons using this program (which are available in my Teachers Pay Teachers Store. For more info on ActivInspire you can check out these posts:  Using ActivInspire to Create a Cross-Curricular Lesson and The Top Ten Things Teachers Should Be able to do in ActivInpsire). In the spring of last school year I attended a two day “train-the-trainer” training on another IWB software, RMEasiteach, provided by an Eduscape Learning instructor, Krista Galyon, @KristaGalyon. I loved her training, because it was very hands on!  It is always easier to learn how to do something by doing it, not watching!
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99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall, Here’s to You Grandma

“What does beer have to do with an Education Blog?” you might be wondering…

My Grandma passed away recently, and she just so happened to be 99 years old and a fan of beer, so I figured the title was fitting for a post in her honor.  A beer for every year, right?  Plus, that song is a bit educational since it does teach one to count backwards from 99, so there’s that!  (Not that I would ever use it in the classroom!) It turns out my Grandma was a big fan of education, but I never seemed to take notice when she was alive. Continue reading

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Watch out for that Apple Snow White!

Apple, The Devices You Love to Hate

When I walk into the Apple Store, observing the mania, I can’t help feeling as I look around  that this is what is wrong with the world today! We took a bite of the poisonous fruit and we are addicted to it like a drug.  I think most of us know we have a problem, yet we can’t seem to tear ourselves away from our devices which have us hooked. Personally, I spent way to much time on my iPhone and iPad on this beautiful summer day, when I should have been doing yoga (I have an app for that) or walking my dog (there’s an app for that too).  I want to hate you, Apple, but I just can’t.  “Why?” You might ask, because (Ugh)  they just do it better — My 3 Day Apple Training convinced me of this. Continue reading

#RockBottom

THUD!

I haven’t tweeted or written a blog post since April.  I want to apologize for my absence to all of my followers, and my PLN, particularly everyone in my @EDTechTLC and  the #blogamonth group.  When I started this blog, my goal was to write a post weekly, and it seems I can’t even post once a month! I won’t go into great detail about why I couldn’t keep up, but I will say  I had a particularly challenging school year, and I got stuck in survival mode.  Teaching is tough stuff!

Just Keep Digging

Have you ever heard of the saying, “Just when you think you’ve hit rock bottom, someone goes and throws you a shovel and tells you to keep digging”?  There were many times this school year when I thought I hit rock bottom.  Below I have compiled a list of tweets from some of my funny/sad/desperate moments that occurred during the school year.  Since I was too busy to tweet these gems at the time they were happening, I present to you all of my #rockbottom moments in 140 characters or less; I hope you appreciate my witty take on the ugly reality of being a teacher.   (For anyone interested in becoming a teacher, you might want to read over these well so you know what you are getting yourself into, this could be you in 8 years!)

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A Very Merry Unconference #EDCampPGH

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A Bit of Background

I first heard of EdCamp from a fellow blogger, Darin Johnston @AnIowaTeacher, in his blog post My #edcampMadWI Expereince.  His blog post had piqued my interest, and I recently had been to another unconference, Pod Camp Pittsburgh, #pcpgh8, with my tech-savvy boyfriend (who is the brains behind this blog operation).  We learned a lot at Pod Camp about blogging, search engine optimization and social media, so I figured trying a education-focused unconference would be a great way to learn more about current trends in education and connect with other educators.

So You Might be Wondering, “What is an “Unconference”?”

Yesterday, I attended the unconfence, EdCamp PGH, #edcamppgh, which is kind of like a professional development conference, except its not!  What makes EdCamp different than a conferences is that class offerings and schedule are completely determined by the participants.  At the start of the day participants jot topics they want to learn more about on sticky notes and post stick them on a piece of chart paper.  Then there is another chart with a table, where the session times are listed down the side and the available rooms are listed across the top. If someone feels they are confident in moderating the discussion they move the topic from the first chart and place it in a time slot and a room.  From there the organizers put the schedule up on the website, so participants can access it from our lap tops, tablets and smart phones.

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The Story of an App, Some Books and a Cow?

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Background: Apps, Books and Cows… you are probably wondering what these things have in common.  It all began back in February when we had two back-to-back non-fiction texts in our Harcourt Trophies reading book, At Home Around the World and Me on the Map.  As you can probably decipher from the titles these selections had a geography focus.  My passion, as you know is utilizing educational technology, so I wanted to find a project that would incorporate technology and geography.  I always wanted to do a Flat Stanley project, so I started exploring my options.  I found there was an iPad app that was free and and Edmodo app that cost $20.00.  I figured I would try the iPad app out first to see how I liked it. Continue reading

Shaking the Winter Blues in the Classroom with iMovie Music Videos

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Project Background

At the beginning of the school year I created an interactive presentation for the daily calendar routine in my classroom. Included in this PowerPoint were YouTube videos of a weather song and a calendar song. Unfortunately, these songs seem to keep getting taking off YouTube. My students happened to be learning about proper nouns including the days of the week, so I decided film our own days of the week rap video.  We had previously filmed a video of the Ants Go Marching which was one of my favorite projects this school year!  I felt like it was time for another music project;, what better way to shake the winter blues!?  I love using songs to teach concepts, because they really help to make the material stick!
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